Department of Biology
New Mexico Tech

Department of Biology

The Biology Department offers cutting-edge research opportunities in high-tech laboratories. Students engage in research projects in molecular biology, microbiology, ecology, cell biology, and physiology. NMT biology graduates are also well-prepared for medical, dental, and veterinary school.

   Scroll down for department seminars and events.

Donate to Biology

Biology Department News

Newly graduated Masters Student Bridie Alexander-Lawrie also has her first paper published - "Inhertance through the cytoplasm" in Heredity. Read it here!

♦ Asst Professor Joel Sharbrough awarded prestigious NSF CAREER Award!

♦ The Biology Department is excited to announce that New Mexico Tech will be the first college in New Mexico to join over 200 other colleges in over 40 states as part of the SEA-PHAGES program which is part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance (HHMI-SEA).  The first group of students will be freshman from the Biology and Biomedical Sciences programs. During this year-long course, students will hunt down, capture, and characterize viruses that infect bacteria (called “bacteriophages”) from the environment.  Each student has the opportunity to name their novel phage, and contribute a sample to the national data bank at the University of Pittsburgh. The class as a whole will select one phage that will have its DNA sequenced, and in the second semester, this sequence will be fully analyzed and annotated by the class. Phages discovered by undergraduate students through this program have been used to treat patients suffering from multi-drug resistant bacterial infections (see this link). While only a few students are able to participate in this pilot course, the Biology Department plans to expand enrollment next year as part of our mission to increase opportunities for students to participate in authentic research experiences.

Cassandra Skaar earns prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.

♦ BMS graduate Wayne Vigil, Jr, now at UC-Riverside has published his first paper "Spectral deconvolution of redox species in the crotonyl-CoA-dependent NADH:ferredoxin oxidoreductase from Megasphaera elsdenii. A flavin-dependent bifurcating enzyme" in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics

♦ Congratulations to graduate students Marina Hein and Katie McLain for seeking out funding opportunities and being awarded a grant from the Native Plant Society ofNew Mexico to further their research. 

♦ We are proud to announce that new Biology Accelerated MS student Catherine Batchelder is the recipient of a Macey Scholarship for 2020-2021!

♦ Biology Acellerated MS student Kasandra Velarde applied for and received her own grant under PI Dr. Linda DeVeaux to fund her own project. This is the article the NM Water Resources Research Institute wrote about it.

♦ El Defensor Chieftain article on the new licensing agreement withParnell Pharmaceuticals to develop an anti-viral nasal spray to prevent COVID-19 that comes out of biology department research.

Click here for a list of scholarships for women



Biology Department Events Fall 2022 / Spring 2023

Spring 2023 Serminars are held in Jones Annex 101 at 4 pm to 5 pm on Mondays unless otherwise noted. Seminars speakers may be in person or remote via Zoom.

Spring 2023:

February 27, 2023 Lomeli Carpio Shull, PhD., Postdoctoral Fellow, U of Colaroado, Anschutz Medical Campus. "The complex functions of PRDM paralogs during craniofacial development"

April 10, 2023 MS Thesis Defense Cameron Steffenson, “Mitochondrial Function in Sexual vs. Asexual lineages of Potamopygrus antipodarum” , Noon in Jones Annex 101.


Fall 2022:

September 5, 2022 No seminar. Labor Day

September 12, 2022 Dr. Bill Shuttleworth, Professor and Dept Chair Neurosciences, UNM School of Medicine "Translational Studies of Brain Tsunamis."

September 19, 2022 Dr. Joann Mudge, National Center for Genome Resources, Santa Fe. NM "The explosion trajectory of DNA and RNA sequencing and the need for Bioinformatics"

September 26, 2022 No seminar

October 3, 2022 Dr. Evan Forsythe, Incoming Assistant Professor, Oregon State University - Cascades. “The Genomic Watermarks of Molecular Interactions” 

October 10, 2022 Dr. Rajesh Thippeshappa, Staff Scientist at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (and NMT Alumni). “ NHP Model of Human-Simian Immunodeficiency Virus infection”

October 17, 2022

October 24, 2022 Dr. Sarah Hengel, Incoming Assistant Professor, Tufts University. "The Shu Complex in DNA damage recognition and repair" POSTPONED

October 31, 2022 Dr. Justin Conover, NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Arizona

November 7, 2022 NMT alumni Elyssa Cox and Dr Debajit Saha, Inst. for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering, Michigan State Univ. POSTPONED

November 10, 2022 Master's Thesis Defense - Katherine Persinger, “Effect of deletions of select genes in regulation of single-stranded DNA binding protein expression in Halobacterium salinarum11 am in Jones-Annex 101

November 21, 2022 No seminar. Thanksgiving Break

December 5, 2022 No Seminar. Finals

December 6, 2022 Master's Thesis Defense - Marina Hein "Groundwater Greenhouse Gas Flux and Dominant Vegetation in an Area of Cyclical Surface Water Loss on the Middle Rio Grande Riparian Corridor" 1pm in Jones-Annex 101

December 13, 2022 Master's Thesis Defense - Skye Fischer “Functional Biodiversity of Yellowstone National Park Subsurface Microbial Communities” 11:00 am in Jones_Annex 101

 Click for printable pdf directions to the Biology Department 

Past Events 2018-2019

Past Events 2019-2020

Past Events 2020-2021

Past Events 2021-2022

NMT Isopod

Biology Staff

Dr. Kaarin Goncz Lab Associate, Instructor 575-835-5098 Biology Jones Annex 221
Vanessa Quinones Department Specialist 575-835-5612 Biology Jones Annex 219